U.S. inflation rate in 1991: 4.21%

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Inflation since 1991 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1991 was 136.2. It was 130.7 in the previous year. This change in CPI is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate inflation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.30% per year. Prices in 2018 are 84.7% higher than prices in 1991.

In other words, $100 in 1991 is equivalent in purchasing power to $184.72 in 2018, a difference of $84.72 over 27 years.

The current inflation rate is now 2.80%1. If this number holds, $100 today will be equivalent to $102.80 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1991 to 2018
Cumulative price change 84.72%
Average inflation rate 2.30%
Converted amount ($100 base) $184.72
Price difference ($100 base) $84.72
CPI in 1991 136.2
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is U.S. "Core Inflation," which measures the CPI for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 2.21% per year between 1991 and 2018. In 1991, core inflation was 4.92%.


Inflation rates for specific categories

Juices and nonalcoholic drinks · Jewelry · Women's apparel · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1991

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1991 * 1991 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 136.2 in the year 1991 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 136.2 * $100 = $184.72

$100 in 1991 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $184.72 in 2018.


Buying power of $100 since 1991

Below are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1991 (price index tracking began in 1913). Each of these USD amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1991 $100.00 4.21%
1992 $103.01 3.01%
1993 $106.09 2.99%
1994 $108.81 2.56%
1995 $111.89 2.83%
1996 $115.20 2.95%
1997 $117.84 2.29%
1998 $119.68 1.56%
1999 $122.32 2.21%
2000 $126.43 3.36%
2001 $130.03 2.85%
2002 $132.09 1.58%
2003 $135.10 2.28%
2004 $138.69 2.66%
2005 $143.39 3.39%
2006 $148.02 3.23%
2007 $152.23 2.85%
2008 $158.08 3.84%
2009 $157.52 -0.36%
2010 $160.10 1.64%
2011 $165.15 3.16%
2012 $168.57 2.07%
2013 $171.04 1.46%
2014 $173.81 1.62%
2015 $174.02 0.12%
2016 $176.22 1.26%
2017 $179.73 1.99%
2018 $184.72 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1991

Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:

  • The IRA launch a bomb attack on Downing Street, during a cabinet meeting.
  • America liberates Kuwait signalling the end of the first Gulf War.
  • Tim Berners-Lee releases files that describe the idea of the World Wide Web.
  • Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord, surrenders to the police.
  • Boris Yeltsin becomes the first elected president of Russia.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 1991 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1991.


» Read more about inflation.